Halsey Institute's $10K grant from NEA funding the return of salt artist Motoi Yamamoto

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts was selected to receive one of the National Endowment for the Arts' Challenge American Fast-Track's $10,000 grant awarded to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The grant will support Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, a two-week residency and solo exhibition featuring the work of contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. During the residency, which will begin in early May 2012, Yamamoto will create a large-scale salt installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on the College of Charleston campus, which will also be a featured presentation of the 2012 Spoleto Festival USA. In addition to the installation, the exhibition will feature new work on paper and a documentary about the artist created by HICA. To accompany the exhibition, HICA is producing a major exhibitions catalog. HICA is organizing extensive education and outreach programs for the Charleston community including K-12 schools. Yamamoto will participate in a variety of workshops, demonstrations, and artist talks, during which the public with have an opportunity to watch and interact with the artist. The exhibition will open to the public on May 24 and close on July 7, 2012.

“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”

“We are honored and very thankful to be a recipient of the NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant,” said Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator at HICA. “Motoi Yamamoto is an extraordinary artist and we are looking forward to sharing his work with the Charleston community. Yamamoto’s uncommon yet familiar medium of salt is what makes him such an engaging and fascinating artist for all ages.”

HICA has also received funding from the Asian Cultural Council for the project. The exhibition will travel throughout the United States after its debut at HICA including the Monterrey Museum of Art, CA; and Loyola Marymount University, CA.

The program is called Fast-Track because of its expedited review timeline. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art was notified approximately six months after applying. Also, with 375 eligible applications submitted from across the country, there was significant competition for funding for these grants. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s grant award is evidence of the artistic excellence and artistic merit of Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto.

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